Maura’s Story

Allison - Chesapeake, Virginia
Entered on November 30, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

This I believe- Maura’s Story


The word alone strikes fear in the bravest heart. It has the power to bring humanity to its knees, trigger the darkest depression, and cause hope to be bled out of the very life of a whole community.

Last Christmas my mom pulled me into the kitchen to tell me that her best friend, my second mother, had breast cancer. It was aggressive and invasive, the worst kind. The disease had already spread from her breast tissue to her lymph nodes.

The treatment: six months of chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, and six weeks of radiation.

She was brave for her kids, her husband, and her friends. She immediately went to her church. My family and I went to ours. Together we were on a mission to help heal Maura. Teams and lists were made. Hot meals were provided for Maura and her family twenty-four hours a day, childcare for her kids, and company to keep her mind off the pain. Those that could not volunteer their time signed up for prayer teams.

Presents started coming in, in the form of hats, scarves, and sparkle lotion for her head. After she shaved her head, she bought wigs, but barely wore them; instead she preferred to put them on others, her houseguests, her children, and her husband.

Through all this, hundreds of people continuously prayed for Maura. As she progressed with her treatment, she started feeling more pain, and we prayed harder. We prayed for strength for her family and doctors. There were times she couldn’t get out of bed, and times she couldn’t summon up the strength to pour her two-year-old a sippy cup of juice.

There was a turning point at about month five. The pain receded, hope came back into her brown eyes, but we still prayed.

I lay in bed every night and staring up at the ceiling, feeling as if no one was listening. My hands would rest palms up on either side of me as I prayed for her health and the strength of those around her. Every time I saw a pink ribbon I would send up a quick prayer.

The time came (it was about June) for her double mastectomy, and there was miraculous news no more cancer. After her mastectomy, the doctor asked her about her treatment, her healing, and what, she thought, helped the most, as she had been given a new treatment. To this she said, “The doctors were all great, but it was the prayers that healed me.” When he raised an eyebrow, she said, “And I want that in your notes.”

This I believe: in times of darkness, illness, and discourage, God is there. Prayer isn’t just talking to the ceiling- it has the power to produce miracles. So, I pray for all of you, that you might find hope and courage in a dark place through prayer, like many did in Maura’s story. Today it is almost a year since her battle with cancer, and she is still cancer free, we thank God everyday.